There’s a reason for that.

Today, after a young white supremacist opened fire in South Carolina’s historic black church, killing nine, we get the usual apologists who say:

– Well the government couldn’t have stopped this.

– Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

– He was crazy, crazy, and we can’t stop all crazy people.

And this one: It was a hate crime but it was an attack on Christians. Because it happened in a church. Get it? Therefore preachers should be armed. That trope was peddled on Fox News today. We won’t link to it. No need to give them the traffic.

It was a hate crime. But this white supremacist didn’t shout anything about Christianity. He said Black people are taking over his country and therefore they had to die. He said this. Pretty clear what his motivation was, isn’t it?

But then there’s the flag, the Confederate flag. Still flying at the SC statehouse. At least some in the country – and some even in the old Confederacy – think this is an insult to those who died. From Vox.

This is more than just an awkward juxtaposition. As Cornell historian Edward Baptist explains in a series of chilling tweets, the Confederate flag isn’t just a symbol of the pro-slavery rebellion, it’s also a symbol of post-Civil War white supremacy — including the KKK and other groups that expressed that supremacy violently, at times by attacking black churches. That it’s flying today, after what Charleston police are describing as a hate crime, is profoundly ugly.

It is ugly. Take it down.